Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
94,276 miles
Total Complaints:
71 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (32 reports)
  2. replaced ignition (19 reports)
  3. hit key while in ignition (6 reports)
  4. Ford should recall the ignitions (5 reports)
  5. call a locksmith (3 reports)
  6. pop out ignition lock & give it a deep cleaning (2 reports)
2001 Ford Focus accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

Jun 132011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


Apparently this is a common issue and needs to be factory covered in a recall of the 2000 to 2003.

- , Emporia, KS, USA

problem #50

Sep 202011

Focus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Ford step up to the plate and take care of the issue. As I did my research, its apparent that it's an on going problem.

- , Donna, TX, USA

problem #49

Oct 012011

Focus LX 2.0L Sohc

  • Manual transmission
  • 115,325 miles

My key started getting hard to put in the ignition and it wouldn't turn or start so i call a local ford dealer they said its a common problem. But there's no recall and of course its a used car so no warranty ford should really do a recall on this s**t.

- , Batesville, AR, USA

problem #48

Sep 092011

Focus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


The key wouldn't turn. Called AAA. Locksmith came and sprayed WD40 into the ignition to no avail. Used another device to turn the ignition. Locksmith stated that this was a common problem and that Ford refuses to issue a recall. He stated that it would $250 to fix if I choose to; otherwise it would be like Russian roulette. He was right. It worked for a couple of days but then became stuck again. I was able to get it turned over. Not sure how.

- , Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #47

May 132010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

I have to keep a key in the ignition at all times otherwise it gets stuck when I try to turn it

- , Colts Neck, NJ, USA

problem #46

Aug 182011

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,799 miles

I can not believe everyone I talk to have had the same problem with there ignitions and ford refuse the recall. this has happened 2 times already and the dealer wants too much to fix the problem. I love my car but do not love the treatment from ford.

- , Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #45

Jan 312011

Focus 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 54,000 miles


I got lucky my Ford Focus stranded me in my driveway. The ignition jammed and the key would turn. Then I was unlucky when I drove my rental car to Burd Ford Dealership to get an estimate for the cost of the repair. The service manager said 350.00 including parts. After I had my car towed and repairs were proceeding. The manager call reporting additional costs, (427.00) , which included a a new key made even though the other keys work fine all the other locks. The manager did not understand my response, No! on the phone regarding additional costs. Basically he baited me on cost and then hooked me. DO NOT GET STUNG BY THIS SCAM!!! Get a locksmith to fix this problem.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #44

Dec 012010

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,600 miles

I just need to get it fixed. the car won't start i have to have it towed i don't know how to do it so i'm at the mercy of the garage.

- , Bethlehem, NH, USA

problem #43

Jan 192011

Focus ZTS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

my focus had one previous owner, an older woman. i bought it when it had only 40,000 miles on it, & it's been problem after problem. a DAY after my warranty expired, my back right window motor blew. a week after fixing that, my back left window motor blew. i waited a few months to save money to fix it, & when i got around to it, a few weeks afterwards my drivers window motor blew! i waited an entire year to get it fixed. NOW... i get it back from the shop... go to start it, & the stupid key will not even turn in my ignition. to my complete disappointment, i get online to see if i can fix it somehow, & i find countless other reports of the same exact thing happening to focus owners. i have had 2 things already recalled on this piece of crap car. if just about every single owner is having this key problem, why the hell has this not been taken care of by ford?!?!?

i will NEVER buy another ford, ever ever again.

- , Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #42

Jan 292011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

This has happened several times. I was almost left stranded on three hours from my house on the toll road. FINALLY, the key turned. Now, I always leave my key in the ignition because I am afraid to take it out. I use one of my spare keys to lock my car.

- , Camden, MI, USA

problem #41

Jan 182011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


WTF!? Seriously! I've read too much about this problem. It NEEDS to be recalled by Ford!

- , Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #40

Dec 242010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I am the original owner of this car that Ford calls a Focus, but I call a F*k Us. I know I ought to have gotten rid of it long ago because it's had serious issues since the DAY I drove it off the lot.

The first time this particular problem actually wasted more than 5 min of my time, it was Christmas Eve, in the parking lot of the liquor store. I had been loading up on holiday cheer for a party. In Utah, we can only shop at State-owned liquor stores, so the place was packed, and towards the end of the hour it took to get the damned thing to turn, a pleasant lady in a brand new Mercedes honked at me and gestured in some sort of monkey sign language for 15 min straight because she felt I had been taking up the sweet front parking space too long. Good grief. Plus I was cold. But, how much credibility do you think anyone in my community gave my story since I had been at the liquor store?! Sigh.

Then the other day (Dec 29), we had a pretty bad blizzard. My driveway is steep, so I had to shovel the snow in order to drive up to the garage, but oh wait. Now that the little bugger was parked on the street, it decided it would be a great time to lock up again! this time, no amount of frostbite, tears, and runny snot dripping out my nose would cause the universe to take pity on my situation. My boyfriend drove me 15 miles each way to and from work, making for a very long day when you throw in heavy traffic, ice, and more blizzard. Don't know what I would have done if he hadn't helped.

This morning, I had to decide what to do. It's my only day off. Call AAA? A locksmith? Dink around with it some more? Well, being a Ford F*k Us owner, I have to save as much money as possible in order to pay for other things that regularly leave me stranded, so I opted for dinking around some more. Three hours, a week's worth of calories expended on pummeling the ignition/key, and almost a whole can of spray lubricant later, the stupid piece of crap turned, and I was able to get it to the garage. Key is still in the ignition and it's STAYING there until either I win the lottery, or some born loser is desperate enough for a car to steal that he resorts to mine.

Ain't no way, no how, I'm going to waste one of my precious AAA tows on this type of bullshittery. Not if beating the crap out of part of the car will temporarily fix the problem. Dealership is out. Calling Ford is out. I've tried both of those options in the past, thinking they would want to satisfy a customer with a legitimate problem, but, like others, I have been schooled. These problems are opportunities to swindle more money out of the consumer. Ford knows how to make a reliable product that will last. They all know how to do that. They just don't want to, because why would people buy new cars if their old cars are reliable?

I know that none of this is my fault. I have driven that car almost every mile it has on it, and I have treated the little bastard like a piece of fine china. I have been trained not to slam on the brakes because we all know how bad the brakes are. I avoid potholes and curbs like the plague. I encourage and cajole the car to cooperate. I have been doing this for TEN years, and I really wonder what life would be like if I had a truly reliable thing to drive.

- , Slc, UT, USA

problem #39

Jan 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,100 miles

Got off of work and put key in ignition and it wouldn't`t turn! Had to call someone to pick me up from work! Had to leave my car in the parking lot because it was after 6:00PM nothing open in my small town at that hour! I hate ed to leave my car in the parking lot overnight!!!! Have to call someone in the morning to see if they can fix it! What a way to start the new year!!

- , Wallis, TX, USA

problem #38

Jul 292010

Focus ZTS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I'm having problems with my ignition, I cant get the key to turn. I can sometimes play with it for bout an hour and it may turn, but now its not turning at all no matter how long i play with it. If Ford knows this is a common problem, Why the f*ck wont they recall this piece of sh*t ignition. Everybody doesn't have the damn money to repair their mistakes! I'm also having a problem with the thermostat housing. What dumb ass would put a plastic housing on that engine if knowingly the plastic piece of sh*t warps due to the massive heat! The engineers that decided to go with that f*cked up ignition and that f*cked up thermostat housing should be FIRED! I REALLY THOUGHT FORD WAS BUILT TOUGH, I DON'T THINK so!

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #37

Sep 152010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Yesterday, 15 September 2010, I was taking my kids to school when the key would not turn forward or back in the ignition on my last stop. I could not unlock the steering wheel at all. I tried to move it forward and back, side to side to help get it unstuck but no luck. I started looking for answers in the owner's guide but It doesn't describe any of my problems. I am stuck and don't have the number or the money to call a tow company to help me. I had to call my husband at work to come get me and my son.

I have small children and was thank-ful that we were not out on the highway on a 100+ degree Texas weather day. My son and I had to walk to the nearest store. He did not make it to school that morning and I now have to wait to get my car fixed until payday because I can't afford to fix it right now. I called the dealership when I got home but they could not help and hung up. I looked on the internet and called my cousin to help me figure out what the problem might be and said it might be the ignition switch or ignition cylinders. He advised me to look for recalls on ignition problems and call the dealership to see if they had any problems with igntions on the Ford Focus 2001 but when I called Ford parts they quoted me prices of $153.00 for the part and $250.00 for labor and it still didn't include towing.

I have read more about the problems that other Ford owners are going thru or have been thru and I am calling a locksmith to help with my dilema. He said he has had alot of people complaining about the same cylinder ignition problem. I still can't get my car fixed but I am praying soon. The locksmith said he would charge me $150.00 for everything. ( Service, part, labor and matching my key to the ignition cylinders). I am very disappointed to find out that Ford has a class action lawsuite in California for the same years 2000 to 2003 Ford Focus on the same problems I am having now. A big company like Ford should know we buy their cars from reputations and reliability.

I bought my new car because my boss referred me after having three Ford's in her family. I wanted dependable transportation for school and work. I wanted a new car so that in the future when I had kids I would not have any problems. My car is older now and have started my family but if Ford already knows about Ignitions and other problems, fix them. To be left stranded is apparently not a problem for them but they are not the one's stranded with kids in the sun and having to deal with the problem. This may not be a safety issue to them but this is a safety issue to me. I am one of the reasons there is a safety issue. MY CAR WON'T START AND I'M STRANDED WITH KIDS!!! What is the problem? Is it that we need to be the daugher, wife, mom, niece, grandchild, aunt, son, uncle or father of a stockholder to complain and be heard. If they have known about these problems for a long time they should do something about it. I wanted to have a trust worthy company on my side to help the owner of a Ford, like me, but they can't find a problem with recalling defective or poor quality parts and replacing them. This would be too much trouble and this makes us the consumer understand Ford is not there to make it right. It's there to make money! If they want repeat business from me, they need to do a better job at fixing the first problem. I still don't have my car fixed but I pray when I do this is the only thing the locksmith finds. I know this is not going to change anything but I have made my complaint.

- , Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #36

May 012010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


- , San Benito, TX, USA

problem #35

Apr 072010

Focus ZX3 2.0L Z-Tec

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Dont even waste your time with the dealership unless you like throwing money down the drain. Look you don't go to a seafood restaurant and order a chicken so why would you not take your car which has bad tumblers in the ignition to a locksmith who works on locks and keys for a living. Better yet save yourself the towing bill and have the locksmith come to you.

- , Shrewsbury, PA, USA

problem #34

Mar 282010

Focus ZX3 1.9L

  • Manual transmission
  • 161,500 miles

I've really enjoyed my 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 over the past six years. I bought it used in 2004 with 21K on the odometer, and have added 140K+ since. Having dealt with the inconvenience and expense of a fuel system problem early on (which was apparently a recall issue), I've enjoyed the power, mileage, and fun that my little red car had to offer over the years, and have had no problem dealing with it's minor foibles along the way....until now.

Enter the ignition switch seems I've been living on borrowed time. I had no idea that this was a problem with this model until it happened to me. Without any warning, in the process of starting my car to go from my Sunday morning job to my regular job, I noticed a little resistance in the key as I started the car, and it wouldn't turn. I tried it again, it started fine, and I went to my other job. After work, and a long day, I went to start my car, and the ignition wouldn't budge. No amount of WD-40, sweet-talking, force, or prayer would help. Luckily, a friend was there to help me get home.

Once at home and online, after checking the Yellow Pages for a locksmith to call the next morning, I started to really do my homework. I Googled the problem, and was amazed at what I found...and even more amazed that Ford hadn't put out a recall on this! What a pain and expense this must have been for thousands of people over the years! I come from a long family history of Ford parents used to replace the older of their two Fords every two years...but this one flew under the radar. As I mentioned earlier, I've loved my Focus, and have fought through it's problems...and will probably do the same now.

I'm somewhat handy, and because I'm of the DYI persuasion, will probably drill out the ignition myself...found instruction online, of course. But I'm not a lock expert, and need my car ASAP, so I'll have a locksmith replace the ignition. I just wanted to share my story and comiserate with those who have had a similar experience. (Hmmm...maybe it's time to grab Mom's '98 Taurus with 49K Florida miles on it...!)

Update from Apr 28, 2010: The day after I posted my complaint, I began calling locksmiths. The first one I called quoted $350, and the second $100 labor, but I'd have to get the part, which was around $150 at the dealer. A little discouraged, but not totally undaunted, I went to the internet looking for an alternative.

In my research I ran across a very helpful BB thread at (, and a quick Google search revealed instructions (and a YouTube video) for the DYIer on how to replace the switch, even if drilling it out would be necessary. One thing I read in the FocusFanatic thread, was that someone had success getting his key to turn by tapping the stuck key on the end with a rubber mallet to hopefully loosen the tumblers. At this particular point, I was resolved to get the part and pay the $100 labor to the second locksmith. On my way to the dealer, I stopped by my car, got in, and gave the key a few quick whacks with the heel of my turned! I knew that this wasn't a permanent fix, and that the switch still had to be replaced, but this bought me some time...and ended up saving me a lot of money.

Searching on eBay, I found a locksmith in Chicago offering a replacement switch for my Focus for only $48.99 including shipping...and if given the key code number or a copy of the key, would key the lock. (He also offers an unassembled version for $39.99, which you have to key yourself...but for only $9 more, I wasn't feeling that adventurous.) I ordered the switch on eBay, obtained my key code from the dealer, and emailed it to the seller. After receiving the switch, I used the instruction which I'd found on the web to complete the installation of the new switch...problem solved!

Here's the switch on eBay...

- , North Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #33

Sep 102004

Focus ZX3 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 48,000 miles

While this happened several years ago, I just found this site.

Fortunately the car was in my driveway (Since I do a lot of hiking, I'm glad it didn't happen at an isolated trailhead, miles from a town.) I had it towed to the dealership and had it repaired for $321. Then about a week later the same thing happened. Again, had it towed to the dealership who repaired it under their repair warranty. I recall the tow truck operator saying he's towed several focus' in the past year.

Now when I turn the key it feels a bit cranky so it may happen again.

- , Olympia, WA, USA

problem #32

Mar 032010


  • Manual transmission
  • 110,000 miles

At least now we know we're not crazy. The car was fine last night, then this morning the key won't go in the ignition. Of course we discovered this as my husband was trying to take our daughter to school and go to work. With the number of complaints on this page alone, you'd think Ford would address it. It's not like it's a minor, non-safety related issue. We're buying another car in the next two or three years. It will NOT be a Ford. Sad. I wouldn't even be as upset by this if the company would fix it, but apparently this counts as normal wear and tear???!!! My family has owned four other cars and three trucks (none of which were Fords) that each lasted for 20 years before we traded them in. This never happened. The wear and tear on those vehicles was normal! Not basic safety and common sense stuff. THIS IS OUR FIRST AND LAST FOR!!!

- , Champaign, IL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?